THB | Safe Steps for Schools™
THB introduces Safe Steps for Schools™; a visual road-safety programme which comprises road crossings and walkways to revolutionise Child Road Safety throughout the UK. Safe Steps for Schools was born from one of their own employees at THB, after witnessing the lack of care given by parents crossing the road with their children at their child’s primary school.
With over 15,000 road accidents involving pedestrians under the age of 16 recorded in 2016, it is imperative that schools are continually adapting and improving road safety outside of their schools. It is also of little surprise that the number of accidents peaked between the hours of 8-9am and 3-4pm in conjunction with school opening and closing times, and these figures are increasing year on year. Government campaigns to build awareness and help improve the behaviour of children when crossing the road are commonplace. Yet it begs the question – what more could be done to raise such awareness?
Historically, school road-safety campaigns rolled-out across the UK have achieved varied levels of success. It would be fair to say that now is the time to take a different approach to those taken previously. Campaigns commonly tend to use various media platforms (i.e. broadcast advertising, billboards, radio and social media). All of these carry a continued, substantial financial cost and involve extensive planning with limited, tangible results to go by.
The initiative, however, goes further than to simply promote the use of the appropriate road crossing, closest to the school. It is a visual programme that also aims to re-educate school-children’s parents. One recurring issue highlighted by primary schools across greater London (as part of a regional research campaign conducted by THB), was the poor example set to children by their adult chaperone when crossing the road. Common behaviours included parents leading their children in between parked cars, not using the crossing provided and in some cases waving at cars to slow them down. Behaviours that all come with a risk attached.
THB’s Safe Steps for Schools crossings use environmentally friendly, skid-resistant and cost-effective preformed markings to produce a striking, brightly coloured road crossing. This, combined with footprints guiding the children to and from the school, incentivises school children to use the appropriate road crossing in a fun and visual way.
On February 1st 2018 in partnership with Croydon Council, THB successfully launched the Safe Steps for School programme, laying their first crossing at Crescent Primary School in Croydon. The crossing has been extremely well-received by school-children and parents alike.
‘The Safe Steps for School footprints design will be a fantastic tool to promote and educate children on crossing the road safely. I’m delighted Croydon is the first place to trial this new programme and hope the eye-catching design encourages both parents and children to cross at a safe place, reducing the risk of road accidents.’ Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for Transport and Environment
‘The children are absolutely wowed by it, they’re loving it (the crossing) and they’re staying within the crossing boundaries because they want to walk on it and follow the paw prints’. Head teacher of Crescent School, Croydon, Ms Fairhurst.
Learning doesn’t end in the classroom. THB believe it is a duty for all parents, guardians and adults to teach the children of today to be safe on the streets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there anything special about the material used and the laying process?
The materials THB use comprise of long-lasting, environmentally friendly thermoplastics. Using preformed thermoplastic materials, the application process involves administering a specialised primer and then laying premade thermoplastic pieces together (like a jigsaw) on top of the prepared surface. The preformed material is then bonded to the surface through heat application.
The materials provide premium high UV resistant colours with a lifespan ten times longer than traditional paints and is complemented by an anti-slip coating. The materials are specialised for this project as the components are non-toxic, containing no lead or chromates to ensure the safety of children. The use of preformed thermoplastic enables intricate, complex designs to be created and is a material much easier to lay as opposed to other materials that require hand application.
How long does it take to complete a crossing installation?
The application time is dependent on other affecting factors such as surface condition, weather conditions and size of the crossing. Though typically, the whole process of an average sized Safe Steps for School™ road crossing can be installed in just a few hours.
Are preformed markings safe to use on the highways?
The product used has been scrim tested to the standard of high friction surface* and in compliance with all accrediting bodies and authorities
How long will the crossing last?
This is dependent on a number of factors such as the condition of the surface and how heavily trafficked the road is. THB offer a 12 month guarantee on all crossings, however they also have crossings that are over 2 years old and have needed no maintenance whatsoever. The manufacturer is confident of a 2-5 year lifespan.
Is maintenance possible and is it expensive?
Yes, the crossings are very easy and inexpensive to cleanse and maintain.
What if we wanted to remove the crossing in the future? Can this be done without damaging the surface?
THB can completely remove the crossing without damaging the surface if need be.
For more information on Safe Steps for Schools please visit THB at https://thameshydroblasting.co.uk/about-us/safe-steps-for-schools/